Fed Up Barcelonians Turn Squirt Guns on Tourists

Spain city is the latest flashpoint in a backlash against tourism
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2024 8:41 AM CDT
Updated Jul 14, 2024 7:31 AM CDT

It's another high-profile move against tourists, this time in one of the most popular destinations in the world—Barcelona, Spain. There, fed-up locals blasted tourists dining outdoors with squirt guns as they shouted "Tourists go home!" and the like over the weekend, reports the Washington Post. Watch the scene here.

  • "Spraying someone with water is not violent," protest organizer Daniel Pardo Rivacoba tells the New York Times. "It's probably not nice, but what the population is suffering every day is more violent." For the record, organizers of the protest that drew an estimated 3,000 people say they did not recommend the squirt guns.

  • Anger builds: As in locales elsewhere around the world, the locals in Barcelona say tourists have overrun their city and driven the cost of living sky-high, per CNN. The tourists bring in money, but ordinary Barcelonians say they're not seeing a fair share of it. The city has moved to restrict tourist housing by 2028, but it's apparently not fast enough for some.
  • The problem: Tourism accounts for 14% of the city's gross domestic product and roughly 150,000 jobs, per the Times. A top Spanish tourism official insists to the newspaper that "Spain is one of the safest tourist destinations that exist," adding, "Specific incidents with tourists are reprehensible uncivil behavior that has nothing to do with the reality of our country."
  • Elsewhere: Similar protests have broken out in Spain's Canary Islands and Mallorca, and Spain is not alone. Greece is curbing cruise ships, Japan is putting up crowd-control gates around Mount Fuji, and Italy's Venice has imposed an entry fee.
(More Barcelona stories.)

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